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The Band

House of Tarab, Arabic Music Ensemble, is based in Seattle and performs classic & traditional music of the Golden Era of Egyptian music and film, music of the Levant (Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Palestine), and the greater Middle East. “Tarab” is an Arabic word not found in the English language that describes a state of emotional transformation and bliss when one is wholly absorbed in music. House of Tarab (A.K.A. H.O.T.) was formed in 2005 though some of the band members have been playing together since 1999.

House of Tarab has played at numerous cultural events, music festivals, parties, belly dance cabarets, belly dance retreats and competitions. We are looking forward to performing live shows again when the pandemic is over and sharing the wonderful music of greats like Oum Kalthoum, Farid El Atrash, Muhammed Abdel Wahab, Abdel Halim Hafez, folk music, and others as well as original compositions! 


Jane Hall

// darabuka & riqq


Jane Hall has been entertaining audiences since age 10. At first as a folk singer with a guitar, she then picked up the hand drums during high school. In the mid-90’s, she met Stephen Elaimy and David McGrath and began the journey of a lifetime in Arabic music. Through several trips to Middle Eastern Music and Dance Camp in Mendocino, California, and after many master classes through the years, she became the percussionist for House Of Tarab, a Middle Eastern music group whose focus is the Golden Age of Arabic music from the 1930-1970s. Jane’s main instrument, the Riqq (Arabic tambourine), is considered the conductor of the ensemble. She also plays tabla or darabuka, a goblet-shaped hand drum and a tabl’ beledi, which is a large bass drum played with two differently-sized sticks.


Stephen Elaimy

// oud


Stephen Elaimy is the founding member and oud player for House of Tarab (a.k.a. HOT). He has been playing the oud for over 20 years and plays mostly music from the Golden Era of Egyptian music and film and music of the Levant. Stephen is grateful for the opportunity to start learning the oud from a great Egyptian player named Maurice Rauman, and to continue to learn from great oud players and teachers such as Dr. Scott Marcus, Naser Musa, Haig Manoukian, Afif Taian, Necate Celik at the Mendocino Middle Eastern Music and Dance Camp, from Simon Shaheen’s workshops and at his Arabic Music Retreat. He also learned from his father, Wadie Elaimy, a Palestinian who played the oud and was raised in Al-Husun, Jordan, and Nazareth. Stephen has played at many festivals, cultural events, weddings, and parties for belly dance shows, retreats, and competitions and feels fortunate to play with dedicated musicians who love this form of music.


David McGrath

// nay


David McGrath is one of the founding members of House of Tarab. Having played music since a young age, discovering Arabic music in the early 90’s changed everything. For the past 25 years he’s been studying and performing the Arabic classical flute called the nay. It’s a simple cane flute dating back thousands of years, very difficult to play, and has a breathy melancholy sound. David has had the pleasure of studying with great teachers through the the years, mostly at the Mendocino Middle East Music and Dance retreat in California. In the past 5 years he has been branching out and playing with Turkish Sufi ensembles in the northwest. He also plays the zurna (double reeded wooden horn) as well as accompanying percussion. Performing with House of Tarab has been the most fulfilling and enriching musical experience of his life and hopes it will continue for many years to come.


Sean Daly

// bass


Engineering renewable energy by day and musical vibrations by night, Sean explores the universe through strings and things. Preferably large strings: upright and electric bass, with the occasional jazz-guitar-quartertoned-shredding-contraption. More often playing middle eastern with House of Tarab, Ritim Egzotik, and the Bedouin Spice Orchestra, Sean also composes and performs with Tempos Contemporary Circus and the occasional swinging sit-in with a jazz band. Sean welcomes you to explore the deep undertones of the heart strings together, through music and movement!


Michael Nageub

// keyboard & nay

Michael Nageub is an Egyptian American musician started his music career in his early teen years at his hometown of Tanta in Egypt. He performed on keyboard and nay all over Egypt before he moved to Seattle area in 2008. He has performed with several bands around the Seattle and Portland areas.

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